There's chalk in there, not coffee. Friction labs offer its chalk in three textures, fine, chunky, and super chunky. We opted to test the chunky flavor.
Friction & Overall Feel
Straight from the packaging and in hand, Gorilla Grip feels harder, crunchier and less powdery than the competition. On the plus side, chalk that chunky and less fine doesn't cake up on your hands or on the climbing holds like the chalk in the bottom of your bag that been there since last spring and has been ground down to moon dust. On the other hand, you'll need to grope around in your chalk bag a bit more to get as much chalk on your hands. It really depends on your preference, but considering Friction Labs sells chalk in three different texture varieties, you can bet that if you want crunchy chalk with a medium chunk, that's what you'll get every time with Gorilla Grip.
Consistency is what you're paying for with this chalk. Each bag contains mostly uniform marble-sized chunks
As mentioned previously, this chalk doesn't cake up on your hands as much as chalk of a finer texture. In cool, dry conditions we felt like Gorilla Grip is the perfect texture, giving us that confidence inspiring crispy feel on the rock. In more humid conditions, we actually preferred it when more chalk caked up on our hands. In our blind testing on the hangboard, there was slightly less chalk left on our testers' hands after three reps on the slopers than chalk with a finer texture like BD White Gold or a grounded down block of Frank Endo Chalk. Compared to the chalk balls we tested, loose gorilla grip provided much more coverage. Check out the before and after photos below that show how much chalk is left after three 20-second hangs on sloper holds.
Friction Labs uses some fancy packaging for its chalk, which has us wondering how much that contributes to the overall price. The packaging resembles a bag of coffee and is resealable in the same way- just roll it up and fold over the wire tabs. The mouth of the bag is conveniently small so it's easy to dump whatever amount you desire straight into your chalk bag. Since this is loose chalk, spillage and dust will be an issue, especially if most of your climbing is done indoors. Chunkier chalks don't pass through the cloth of a chalk ball as well as finer chalk, so you'll want to grind down your Gorilla Grip a bit before you put it in a refillable chalk ball, or you could purchase a bag of Friction Labs Unicorn Dust, the finest-textured chalk they sell.
Turns out the resealable coffee bag is a great delivery system. We could easily get the chalk in the bag without spilling it on the ground.
Friction Labs is the most expensive chalk in our review. You pay for consistency and a promise of additive free chalk (and maybe shiny packaging). If you buy into the whole #chalkmatters thing, you'll appreciate that you get the same thing every time. Our testers ranged from boulderers who swear by this stuff to a big wall free climber who said she couldn't tell one chalk from the next and would use whatever she could get for free. If you're on a tight budget, Metolius Super Chalk is the most chalk you'll get for your hard-earned dollar.
Do you begin your climbing day with a strict ritual of positive self-talk while pantomiming the beta for your project? Are your cams meticulously arranged by size, brand, and weight on a peg board in your garage? Do you wear rubber gloves in the shower to prevent your caluses from getting soft? Does your climbing kit for Indian Creek include tincture of benzene and eight rolls of tape? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you're likely going to appreciate the consistency and quality of Friction Labs' chalk. If you have no idea what we're talking about, you should grab the cheapest chalk you can find and just go climbing.
Friction Labs Gorilla Grip led to some of the most serious discussions about chalk we've ever had.
We debated endlessly about whether or not this chalk was worth the price, but we agreed that when the stakes are high, we never want to do without a bag of our favorite chalk.